Sep 16, 2011

Evocative Thailand.

Before embarking on our twenty one hour, (three airplane) adventure across eleven time zones and two continents into the Southern hemisphere of Asia, I had little to no idea about what we were about to encounter or experience.  Like many of you, our knowledge of this intricate and interesting culture had been limited to an affinity for their delicious cuisine and the many ocassions we ordered Thai food for lunch or explored a great little Thai place in the city that boasted the best pad thai this side of Asia.

Trust me when I tell you there is significantly more to Thailand than their mouth-watering food.  Albeit, when I think about it, Thailand's  food is quite an accurate representation of it's culture: colorful, fresh, exotic, savory, sweet, and very, very spicy.  A fusion of many different flavors and elements, a land of beautiful contrasts. Intoxicating. Thrilling. Mesmerizing. Memorable and quite simply....


If I had to choose one word to describe this amazing country, that would be it.

It is the kind of place that forces one to utilize all five senses to experience it's true essence.  Your eyes are immediately captivated by the stunning natural and cultural beauty of the surroundings and people, and then your olfactory glands kick in - almost upon arrival -  when you note the air boasts a combined scent of potent spices, aromatic flora and  humid city life. Your palette is almost instantaneously sent on a whirlwind ride of flavors with the plethora of eateries, street vendors and open markets selling their tantilzing fare... Your ears will hear a fusion of sounds, ranging in everything from the fast-paced sing song of the Thai language, to the variety of traffic sounds in Bangkok, to the gentle swish of the waves on the Bay of Phuket.  Finally, when you are able to touch the soft texture in the Thai silks and tapestries, the rough skin of the trunk of an Asian elephant, or the supple fur of a playful baby tiger, you realize just how intensely captivating and versatile this country really is.  It boasts everything from modern skyscrapers and impressive shopping malls to ancient villages,  rice cultures and everything in between...

to using the fastest (not necesarily the safest:)  mode of transport the Tuk Tuk

to playing with these guys in the ancient city of Chiang Mai

to watching this guy paint a masterpiece that can rival Picasso

to chilling on the most incredible beach I've ever seen...

To be perfectly candid, there are far too many anecdotes, adventures and experiences to share about our trip to Thailand but I fear I might of bore you with my excessive blabbering verbose narrative.    I've always been a firm beleiver that a picture tells a much, much better story than any written word can so without further adieu, please come along on the journey Kevin and I, - and our fabulous globetrekker buddies traveled to - the  impressive and unforgetable land that is Thailand...

For a full play-by-play of each place, please click on the albums below.

Thailand Part One (Bangkok and surrounding areas)  please click here:

Thailand Part Two (Chiang Mai) please click here:

Thailand Part Three (Phuket and surrounding islands) please click here:

*FYI, many of these prints and others from my travels around the Globe are now available for purchase in my ETSY shop - C'est La Vie Art, please come check it out. *

I added captions and a link to the pictures of the hotels/resorts we stayed at while in Thailand, but I will list them here for easier reference:

Bangkok- Silq Boutique Hotel. Sleek, Modern, Clean, Great Staff, Centrally located,next to all major trams, malls and within walking distance of los of great eateries. Highly Recommended.

Chiang Mai: -  Fern Paradise. This family owned eco escapade lives up to its name. We were the only guests there during our 4 day stay.  Incredible personal attention. Gorgeous, unique settings (the "hotel rooms" or villas are re-furbished rice huts surrounded by the most amazing foliage and flora.) The setting is breath-taking and the owner and his son are incredibly hospitable and gregarious. Our stay was also very educational, the owner who has a PhD in Biology and History taught us so much about the history of the "lana" or rice culture and about the plethora of amazing ferns he has personally planted and cares for. A must if visiting Chiang Mai.

Phuket - Holiday Inn Resort on Patong Beach. This was our "splurge" hotel. Well worth it. Great service, good food and amazing pool. Within very short walking (i.e. just walk through the hotel gate) distance from all of the night-life and restaurants on Patong.

Thank you so much for coming along on our journey to the Far East, stay tuned for where our next travel adventure will take us....

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